The morning that I was scheduled to get my tattoo, I rolled out of bed and started running through the house.
It was like that scene from Friends on Monica’s wedding day when she ran out of her bedroom with her arms flailing screaming” It’s my wedding day!” and then she tripped and fell.
Except I was yelling, “It’s tattoo day!” and I stubbed my toe on the coffee table.
Basically, I was excited.
And then I sat down at the kitchen table to share my Throwback Thursday posts on my Instagram stories and I started to cry.
Thursdays are the hardest days because I see their pictures and it still gives me all the sad feels.
I started to ugly sob as I thought about my afternoon tattoo appointment where Sherman, Leroy, and I were going to meet again.
The anticipation of this day had been carrying me through the sad days and I was more than ready to do the last and most important part of my Everence Life journey.
That’s what this whole thing was.
It was more than going and getting some ink.
It was a journey and it was a great one.
From receiving the Everence Collection Kit, collecting the ashes from their beautiful boxes, packaging it carefully up, driving it to the post office, to the day their Everence arrived back to me safely processed, handing the special vial over to the tattoo artist and the first line inked, it was an emotional experience that only I could experience.
Now I can carry both of them with me.
Wherever I go, they go and I honestly feel more at peace than I have in a long time.
I know that I’ve been sharing my Everence Journey with you on social media but there’s a lot to it and I know that many of you have questions so I’m going to share more of my personal experience with Everence and about Everence as a whole.
What is Everence Life?
Everence Life is a revolutionary technology that transforms tattoos and jewelry into ways to carry people, pets, and places that matter most to them, forever.
The idea for Everence was inspired by military families who, all too often, spend long periods of time away from loved ones. In working with these amazing people we came to understand the strength that comes from feeling connected to loved ones, especially when they have to be far away.
Everence has assembled a team of esteemed scientists, dermatologists, molecular biologists, and jewelry designers, and manufacturers from leading institutions like Brown, Duke, and Cornell Universities.
This team guided Everence from a concept to a patented product that has now helped people from all across the U.S. and 12 foreign countries (and counting).
The company makes 2 types of products; tattoo ink additive and personalized jewelry.
Everence deepens the emotional significance of jewelry and tattoos by turning them into ways to carry the people, pets, places, and events that have touched your life.
I can tell you from personal experience that it is definitely an emotional journey!
Everence Sources That Can Be Used For Your Tattoo
Since I only have experience with their tattoo process, that is what I’ll be referencing from here on out but you can read more about the jewelry here.
I knew that I wanted to do something with Sherman’s and Leroy’s ashes but I couldn’t find the thing that felt right.
Since Sherman has been gone for almost a year now and Leroy just over 7 months, I was starting to get a little stressed about it.
When Everence reached out to me I was intrigued but I was also a little skeptical.
Maybe skeptical isn’t the correct word but I wasn’t 100% sure about it.
The more I researched it and thought about it though, the more intrigued I was.
This was it.
This was the perfect way for me to use their ashes and honor them.
Now, if ashes aren’t your thing don’t worry, there are other sources that you can use to create your Everence product.
DNA (from a cheek swab), hair, ash, soil, sand, rock, grass, and flowers are all sources that can be used to make your tattoo ink additive.
How Is Everence Made?
Everence refines the ashes (or any source provided) into particles of ideal uniform size for use in tattoo ink and then for the tattoo product they encapsulate them in a medical-grade microsphere to create the fine powder that is then mixed into the ink.
The material used to make Everence for Tattoos is a medical-grade material called PMMA (polymethyl methacrylic) that has been among the most widely used materials in medicine throughout the world over the past 80 years.
PMMA is widely used in dermal fillers (botox), dental fillers, permanent contact lenses, orthopedic joints, and more.
Because Everence is classified as a cosmetic, it is not FDA approved, however, the FDA has been presented with all of the required information about Everence, including summary ingredients, material specifications, and safety testing, and methods of production.
Everence is made in Providence, Rhode Island.
The Everence Process
As I mentioned earlier, the Everence process is more about getting a tattoo but also about the journey creating your Everence from the source of your choice.
There’s a very easy step by step process that you follow and all of it is explained during the steps.
First, you order your collection kit. These can only be ordered through the Everence website or from an approved affiliate partner (which I am).
Follow your instructions in your kit.
Our kit required a 1/2 teaspoon of ashes from each source. So yes, you can combine ashes from different pets.
A plastic measuring spoon and tin is provided.
The collection process was emotional for me because it was the first time that I actually opened up their ashes and touched them.
After you collect their ashes you then return it to Everence using the pre-addressed shipping label.
Make sure to save the envelope that your Everence kit was shipped to you in! This is a reusable envelope and you’ll need it to ship it back!
I didn’t realize that when I received my kit and I thought they forget the pre-addressed envelope!
IT’S A REUSABLE ENVELOPE!
Everence will send you an email when they receive your source back and then they will send you an email when it’s finished and being shipped back.
This can take up to 21 days according to their website.
Mine took exactly 14 days to get back to me and included a certificate of authenticity.
Getting Your Tatto
Since Everence is an ink additive, any tattoo artist can add it to their ink but you definitely need to make sure that your artist is willing to do it.
I contacted my tattoo artist and since he never heard of this particular process, I sent him all the information.
After he looked it over, he said it would be no problem.
Everence will add any tattoo artist that completes their insurance signup form to their insurance policy as an additional insured so they can limit their risk and apply Everence with complete confidence if they want.My artist did not do this.
A few people asked me if the Everence made the ink thicker and my artist said it did not.
He was actually pretty impressed with how easy the process was over adding unprocessed ash to tattoos, which I guess takes a lot longer.
From the Everence site:
“Adding unprocessed ash directly to tattoo ink is more of a temporary gesture that usually will not last inside your tattoo for more than a few weeks.
Since the ash is not protected and contains a wide range of particle sizes, it is usually either rejected, absorbed or destroyed by the body and does not remain in the tattoo forever.
Creating Everence for Tattoos from cremated ash using their patented process microencapsulates the ash with a medical-grade material, which allows it to remain in your tattoo forever.
Unprocessed cremated remains also contain a wide range of particle sizes and shapes and are not purified, which means they could contain harmful microorganisms. As a result, the body is more likely to have an adverse reaction to this type of unprocessed ash when applied in a tattoo.
With Everence the cremated ash is purified and contains only particle sizes that are optimal for inclusion in your tattoo”
Since I was using Everence my purpose behind the tattoo was more about what was in it than what it looked it.
I wanted it small but somewhere that was easy for me to see and touch so I picked my forearm.
It was supposed to be my wrist but because my wrist was so small, the tattoo would have been super small and we would risk it running together.
I also had 2 fresh scratches from Finn to work around so we moved it up and put it at a slight angle.
I did the infinity sign with the heart and 2 paw prints.
I kept it black (for fading reasons) and did the heart in hot pink because pink is my favorite color.
I can now take Sherman and Leroy with me anywhere that I go and they are with me forever.
I’m currently in the healing process and going into day 4, the tattoo is looking great.
Even caring for it has been part of the journey because of course, I’m giving it extra love and care just like I did when Sherman and Leroy were here in real life.
If anyone is seriously interested in using Everence, they gave me a unique code for you to use to get 10% off your order.
Just simply use code NEWFIES at this link during checkout to receive the special offer.
If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them or refer you to someone at Everence that can!